Winner of Seneca Army depot plans to add hundreds of jobs, protect white deer
WATERLOO, N.Y. -- The man who cast the winning bid for the former Seneca Army Depot says he plans to bring new jobs and new developments to the site, all while preserving the white deer that live on the land.
Earl Martin, who owns the Seneca Iron Works, was announced as the winning bidder of the 7,000 acres of land Thursday, with a bid to pay $900,000 for the land. At a news conference, Martin said he plans to build some homes on the depot and bring his business to part of the land. All told, Martin says he plans to create 200 new jobs at the old Army depot.
"Our plans will enabled Seneca Iron Works to continue growing, and will pave the way for additional industrial, agricultural and tourism development over the next ten years," said Martin.
16 bids were submitted for the land when it was put up for sale at the end of 2015, but the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency board chose Martin unanimously as the winning bidder at its board meeting Wednesday.
"After giving all 16 bids due consideration, the IDA is confident that Earl Martin's business plan will provide the greatest benefit to the local and regional economy," said Tom Macinski, chairman of the Seneca County IDA board of directors.
Martin's proposal calls for a $13 million investment in the expansion of his company, Seneca Iron Works, to the land along with other developments which have the potential to create more than 200 new jobs over a ten-year period. Martin's proposal also would allow the land to be taxed, bringing in revenue for the county, the towns of Varick and Romulus as well as the Romulus and South Seneca school districts.
The proposal allows for the placement of a long sought after road running from east to west through the depot. Martin also plans to develop about 20 Amish homesteads to live and farm on the land.
When plans to sell the depot emerged last year, neighbors expressed concern about the future of the white deer population in the area. In response, Martin plans to dedicate depot land for wildlife preservation - in particular, the white deer - and he says he's willing to work with organizations like Seneca White Deer, Inc. in the process.
Martin says his plan will also allow the continued use of the land by existing businesses, as well as police and fire training facilities. He also hopes to increase tourism to the area.